TSS and Saft batteries, an electrifying combination

TSS and Saft batteries, an electrifying combination

TSS solar systems in combination with Saft batteries are providing ultimate and uninterrupted reliability for Pertamina’s unmanned GG-platform. Proven performance for 7 years and counting.


Saft solar nickel battery system delivers reliability and cost efficiency for Pertamina offshore gas platform.  Solar system integrator TSS4U selected Saft Sunica+ nickel batteries for their high quality, reliability, high temperature capability and expert support in Indonesia.

Old school batterij technologie in offgrid energiesystemen

De uitrol van zonnepanelen draait in coronatijd volop door, zowel in de residentiële als de zakelijke markt. Het gebruik van batterijen komt sterk op, in Vlaanderen in de vorm van de thuisbatterij en in Nederland in die van grootschalige opslagsystemen. Dit is echter niet de wereld van TSS4U. Het levert offgrid solar en solar hybride-systemen, met name voor offshore en onshore olie- en gasinstallaties. Die markt kent zijn eigen wetten, zowel wat betreft conjunctuur als technologische vereisten.

TSS4U heeft zijn roots in het voormalige Shell Solar in Helmond. Chief operational officer en mede-eigenaar Jan-Willem Linsen werkte er eerst aan netgekoppelde, daarna aan autonome industriële zonne-energiesystemen. Na de overname van Siemens Solar in 2001 zette het bedrijf een punt achter de productie van zonnepanelen in Nederland.
2 jaar later werden de offgrid-activiteiten overgeheveld naar München. Linsen en enkele van zijn collega’s besloten uit te stappen en richtten TSS4U op.

Choice of charge control technique: Active or TSS Passive MPPT?

Choice of charge control technique: Active MPPT or TSS Passive MPPT?

Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) are the two most common techniques used in off-grid solar charge controllers to charge batteries from a photovoltaic (PV) array. Both technologies have been widely used in the off-grid solar industry and both are great options for charging your battery. The choice of PWM or MPPT regulation is not merely based on which charging method is “better” than the other. Rather, it encompasses the determination of which type of controller will work best in a specific system design.

PWM charge control

A PWM charge controller is a switch which connects the PV module to the battery. When in PWM regulation, the current from the PV array tapers according to the battery’s status and recharging needs. When the switch is closed, the PV module and battery will be at nearly the same voltage and the PV module operational voltage is given by the following formula:

Since the PV modules operate at the same voltage window (battery voltage), rather than a higher watt peak rating, it is more important for a PV module to be able to produce more current at the battery voltage window when used with a PWM controller.

Active MPPT charge control


A MPPT algorithm-based charge controller sweeps the I-V curve of the PV module to pin-point the Maximum Power Point (MPP) of the PV module in all conditions. The power conversion is done with a DC-DC converter that converts the higher DC voltage from PV modules to a lower voltage required to charge the batteries:

Effect of PV module temperature on power extracted


An often forgotten aspect of PV modules is the change of parameters at different temperatures. Let us consider two scenarios of PV module temperature by maintaining the type of PV module and irradiance as constant.

PV module temperature at 25°C, at STC
For a 24V PWM based system, considering the average battery charging voltage to be 27.45V and a voltage drop of 10% (worst case), the PV module operational voltage will be 30.2V. From the above figure, it can be seen that at a PV voltage of 30.2V, the PV power output will be 325.3W.

The maximum power that can be extracted from the PV module with an MPPT-based controller is 359.8W. In this case MPPT extracts about 10.6% more power in comparison to a PWM controller at a PV cell temperature of 25°C.

Above case is considered at STC. STC stands for Standard Test Conditions which is at a PV module temperature of 25°C. In reality, the PV module temperature is much higher than the ambient temperature. As a rule of thumb, the difference in temperature is approximately 20°C. Hence, it would be more realistic to consider a cell temperature of around 50°C.
PV module temperature of 50°C

From the above figure, it can be noticed that at a PV voltage of 30.2V, the PV power output has reduced slightly to 322.4W in a PWM based system, only 0.9% reduction compared to STC. The maximum power that can be extracted by a MPPT based system is 328.8W, a reduction of 8.8% compared to STC. Reducing the difference in power output to only 1.9%.


Hence, at the actual temperatures a PV module will operate, the advantages of the MPPT over a PWM becomes negligible as the power output from a PWM based system is very close to that for an MPPT based system.


TSS passive MPPT charge control

In essence, with a PWM system the MPP is not actively tracked, but MPP operation is obtained by matching the module voltage to the system voltage. This can be achieved by using TSS PWM optimized PV modules. The combination of a TSS PWM charge controller and TSS PWM optimized PV modules provides a passive MPP operation which we call the TSS passive MPPT charge control and is provided in our solid solar only solutions.


Space Constraint

As seen in the earlier section, at lower temperatures, the MPPT controller can extract the same power as PWM from a lower number of PV modules. This leads to slightly lower number of PV modules for a MPPT system. To partly overcome this challenge, TSS uses PWM system optimized PV modules in order to extract the maximum power out of the PV system at any given ambient temperature.


Ease of system sizing

MPPT is the more advanced style charge controller as they will sweep the I-V curve throughout the day to maximize the energy harvest from PV array. Consequently, sizing MPPT based charge controllers is more complex as there are many considerations to take into account in comparison to a straightforward PWM based system sizing.


Controller de-rating with temperature

An overlooked fact is often that all equipment is installed inside enclosures where operational temperature will be higher than the ambient temperature. This difference can be up to 20°C to 30°C and additionally controller efficiency comes into play.
With a typical efficiency of a MPPT controller being 97%, its’ dissipated power will have a large effect on the enclosure temperature. Additionally, the complex electronics will demand a power derating at higher temperatures. Risking not being able to extract enough energy to supply the load and also charge the battery.

The TSS PWM Controller on the other hand has an outstanding efficiency of 99.97%. This keeps the enclosure temperature at a lower level compared to MPPT. Besides this a PWM controller does not demand for derating at higher temperatures.



A MPPT based system consists of more complex electronic DC-DC converter circuits to cater the MPP tracking. A PWM controller is of a way less complicated nature. It only has to switch the PV modules on and off, making it a more reliable solution.


System cost

From a costing point of view, Solar Energy Systems are implemented in two main climates:

  • High temperature: similar system cost for both MPPT and PWM
  • Lower insolation: larger number of PV modules require larger number of MPPT Controllers, this reduces the benefit of MPPT since the cost of MPPT controllers is vastly higher compared to PWM controllers


It can be concluded that the choice for a TSS Passive MPPT based system or an Active MPPT based system lies in the smart interplay between the various factors that need to be incorporated while designing a specific system. At TSS, we believe the choice for a TSS passive MPPT solution is still the best solution for remote industrial environments, since it provides the highest reliability and energy security. All at the same or lesser cost.

Revitalize your Solar Energy System

Revitalize your Solar Energy System

In the past 30 years many large Oil & Gas companies started an off-grid solar department providing their own off-grid Solar System Solutions including their in-house developed charge control equipment. Many solar systems are now in use as the main energy supplier for vital equipment like Telecom, RTU, Wellhead control, valves, etc. Failure of the energy supply will result in high operational cost.


At TSS, we have seen many companies like Shell Solar, BP Solar, Total Energy/Tenesol stopping their off-grid solar activities resulting in clients not being able to maintain their current install base and to get spare parts or technical support for their Solar Power Systems. This has resulted in high downtime and high operation cost for these clients. TSS has been requested by many clients to help them in providing System Health Checks and spare parts for those systems for more than 10 years.


During the System Health Check our engineers provide you a report on the status of your system and which (preventive) maintenance should be carried out in order to revitalize these systems.

In order to be able to help these clients TSS has developed tailor made solutions by providing compatible new charge controllers which could replace the existing control equipment without the need of revising the whole system and including the system specific metering and alarms. Due to this we could provide a solution to our clients to keep their solar system running for the next 10 years or more without the need for a high investment for purchasing a complete new solar power system.


We would be happy to provide a similar tailor made solution for your off-grid solar systems that are currently failing due to the lack of spare parts or technical support from the manufacturer.


TSS4U Management Team

TSS- Art of No Cooling

“TSS - Art of No Cooling”

TSS’ expertise is in the development of equipment that can be placed in very hot climatic conditions. The presence of electronic equipment in such hot conditions generally leads to the problem of overheating which can result in inefficient functioning or even a complete failure of the system.


To tackle and alleviate the hitches and inefficiencies that arise as a result of heat, engineers generally employ different cooling systems for forcing a good thermal management. This is normally achieved by the use of fans which don’t have a long lifetime expectancy.

TSS Engineers’ Philosophy: Bottom Up Approach

Innovative design combined with the right selection of components make sure our electronic equipment is highly energy efficient and as a result have only little heat dissipation and don’t require forced cooling by fans.

Furthermore, our specially designed electronic components have in-built heat spreading capabilities which help to spread the heat from hotspots by natural convection within the enclosure.


These intrinsically cooled components ensure that the control equipment inside enclosures are heated up only in a controlled manner up to a maximum of 85°C! Thus, redundancy for temperature dependent failure in tropical environments are secured.


Such an efficiently designed control equipment can simply be used in the shade externally without any form of forced cooling (e.g. under solar modules). Even if the ambient temperature in the shade goes up to 55°C, the equipment continues to function perfectly without the need for any external cooling and without any de-rating.

TSS brings solar to the highest level

TSS brings solar to the highest level

In close cooporation with VDL Mast Solutions in the Netherlands, TSS4U designed and developed a unique monopole solar system for our Algeria based customer. A system born from the need to meet various constraints like the remote location, harsh geographical / meteorological conditions and the potential risk of theft. All these aspects were taken into account in the design of a reliable solar only system to keep the operation up and running 24/7 with a total of 57 monopoles installed.

Our customer has been involved right from the preliminary design up to site delivery making this project a tremendous success.

The solar monopole systems, a first of its kind, features custom made 100% solar power rating, foot print reduction, anti-theft solution, signaling and internal cable routing.

57 x customized 15m high mono poles with 2 (3 m2 ) / 16 (26 m2 ) and 24 (40 m2) solar modules in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria for a Remote Telecommunication Unit (RTU) and Chemical Injection Package (CIP)

• Customized 15m high pole design in accordance with EN 1993-3-1
• Hot dipped Galvanized steel according ISO 1461
• Withstand 120 km/h wind velocity/load acc. EN 1991-1-4
• Remote controlled anti-theft-intrusion detection system at 5m & 8m from the pole
• Anti-theft concertina blade wire with cut detection
• Remote and local operation of the intrusion system
• Features internal cable routing
• Underground battery pit with opening detection
• Designed, engineered and produced in The Netherlands

Eindhoven companies collaborate on ’10 million-order’ for solar energy systems in the Middle East

Eindhoven companies are working together on record order for solar energy systems in the Middle East

EINDHOVEN – For its solar energy systems in oil fields, the Eindhoven-based company TSS4U is working on a record order of 10 million euros. Together with the regional suppliers VHE and Itsme, it realizes more than 150 systems in the desert of Abu Dhabi.


According to director Dop Brzesowsky of TSS4U, the turnover of many years is surpassed with the assignment for oil company Adnoc. The ‘Shell of the United Arab Emirates’ is going to tap new oil fields in the desert.

Biggest in ten years

In places like this where there is no electricity network, TSS4U supplies systems for controlling solar panels, storing solar energy in batteries and supplying power. “For larger assignments, it involves a value of 1.2 or sometimes 3 million euros. This of more than 10 million euros is the largest order in this industry in ten years”, says Brzesowsky.

He calls it ‘unique’ that a Dutch company has won the contract. “We often work with local contractors. We won the order because of the very high quality and reliability of our systems.”

Three companies with 35 employees

TSS4U does not produce itself. The company calls itself a system integrator. For the record order, it works together with suppliers VHE and Itsme. VHE assembles the cabinets with electronics in Veldhoven that control the energy systems. The Eindhoven wholesaler Itsme supplies switches and other electronic components. Around 35 employees from the three companies are involved in the assignment.

“As a team we have created something magical”, says the director of TSS4U. The order is also short preparation time. The production process had to be set up quickly. The companies also joined forces to finance the contract.

The first systems were delivered last month. The last deliveries are expected in the summer.


This is a translated article. The original version can be read in the  Eindhovens Dagblad.

TSS4U awarded order of close to 10 million Euro

TSS secures the biggest order in the company’s history, worth close to 10 million Euro

TSS is awarded the largest order in the history of TSS. Spanish company Tecnicas Reunidas awarded a project worth close to 10 million Euro to TSS.


TSS will supply over 160 off-grid Solar Power Systems with a capacity ranging from 0.5kW up to 1.3kW, each with an autonomy period of 72 hours. These solar power systems will be commissioned in the Bu-Hasa Field in the United Arab Emirates.


The solar power systems will be used by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for multiple purposes, such as powering telecom, RTU, Wellhead control panels, valves and pumps, including further development of the Bu-Hasa oil field and improvement of the overall production efficiency in the Bu-Hasa field.

Quote TSS

“We have successfully worked with TR on several projects in the past. For a project of this size we are very pleased that TR trusts TSS to award this project and we look forward to working together once again.”

About Técnicas Reunidas

Técnicas Reunidas is a Spanish-based contractor providing engineering, procurement and construction of industrial power generation plants, particularly in the oil and gas sector. Técnicas Reunidas has been part of the Spanish large-cap IBEX 35 stock index since April 2008.

logo Technicas Reunidas


ADNOC is the state –owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates and holds the 7th largest proven reserves of oil in the world. It is the UAE’s biggest company and it is the 12th largest oil producing company in the world.

logo ADNOC

About TSS4U

TSS4U (TSS) is a Solar Solutions System Integrator active in the Oil & Gas market and the Telecom market. It was founded in 2003 as a spin off from Shell Solar. TSS is headquartered in The Netherlands with local offices in the U.A.E. and Malaysia. TSS works with a global network of experienced local partners. At current TSS has commissioned over 1,100 solar systems across Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East ranging from remote safe area solar systems in the dessert to explosion proof off-shore solar systems.

TSS logo Off Grid Solar Systems

Proven system sizing for MPPT

Proven system sizing for MPPT based solar systems

There is a plethora of PV system sizing tools in the market. However, none of these tools are specifically designed to cater to the various needs of a system sizing for off-grid PV systems such as functioning of the system at very high temperatures, hybrid energy sources, maximum power extraction, optimal functioning of battery system and the ability to choose the optimal tilt angle for the solar array at the various locations around the world. All of these constraints are required to be met while working off-grid.

TSS product manager ir. Shruti Sriram was responsible for the collaboration between TU Delft University and TSS. She successfully concluded the project for developing a new system sizing tool to meet the above mentioned needs.

The new proven system sizing for MPPT based solar systems is based on theoretical modelling and field measurement results.

The MPPT based system sizing is validated by the TU Delft University and has been implemented by TSS for the design of MPPT based off-grid solar systems and hybrid systems.

TSS was able to intervene immediately after a short circuit alarm

TSS was able to intervene immediately after a short circuit alarm

Shortened emergency response times and optimised use of hybrid solar systems with Cloud Notify

TSS has extensive, global experience designing and delivering reliable and high performance autonomous solar power solutions. These systems are usually situated in remote locations with limited access, which makes it difficult to monitor and resolve any problems.

Sébastien Robert, project and innovation engineer at TSS, tells us more about how they have optimised their systems with the help of Cloud Notify and Cloud Logging.

"When a short circuit occurred, we immediately received an alarm"

GASCO project TSS


SS initially started looking for a remote access solution. TSS wanted to gain more insight into their systems, which are often situated at remote and hard to reach locations. “We want to learn how exactly our systems behave, to find out if and how we can improve them in the future,” Sébastien explains. The gathering of machine data plays an enormous role in TSS’s drive to continuously improve and optimise their products.
TSS came across IXON during the Industrial Ethernet Event. The focus quickly shifted from remote access to data logging. Sébastien explains: “With Cloud Logging we can gather data. We don’t share all data with the customer as some information is only important for us.” TSS gathers machine data which allows them to monitor and analyse their systems. However, it did not help TSS quickly respond to failures and ad-hoc problems.


In December 2018, TSS received IXON’s Christmas promotion which offered one free Cloud Notify license to test the new IXON Cloud feature. “We didn’t use Cloud Notify prior to this, but saw it as a great opportunity to get started,” says Sébastien. “We’re very happy with our decision so far.”

With the help of IXON’s support page, it was easy to set up alarms. TSS now receives notifications about various important events of their solar power systems.


An example of such a notification? During the day, the energy from the sunlight is stored in batteries that supply the systems with energy at night. TSS has built in all kinds of safeguards which are monitored by alarms. “These are alarms regarding, among others, the voltage of the battery,” Sébastien explains. “A battery consumes 20% of its energy per day and should be able to provide energy for five nights if the battery doesn’t get recharged during the day. As soon as too much energy is consumed, we receive a notification.” 

"As soon as too much energy is consumed, we receive a notification"

Sébastien Robert, Project Engineer TSS

After receiving such notifications, TSS examines the problem with the gathered machine data using Cloud Logging and solves any issues. With the help of Cloud Notify, TSS also monitors the systems’ efficiency. The maintenance of solar panels is crucial in order to guarantee efficiency. “Over time, these panels get dirty, which negatively affects its efficiency,” says Sébastien. “We have now set an alarm which notifies us that the solar panels have to be cleaned when they have reached low efficiency.” If a customer doesn’t respond it will eventually lead to lower battery capacity.


Customers are now given targeted advice to make optimum use of their solar power systems.

The customer eventually wants a reliable system. As a result, operational costs can be reduced considerably. “Therefore, it is crucial that alarms are prevented,” Sébastien observes. Cloud Notify has already yielded its first results.

In Oman, TSS has a hybrid solar power system which is supported by diesel generators. A short circuit occurred due to a faulty connection after some maintenance activities were performed. “We immediately received an alarm,” Sébastien says. Later they received another valuable notification from the same system. “The generator kept malfunctioning and wouldn’t turn on anymore. TSS immediately received a notification about this via Cloud Notify. From the logged data we could trace what went wrong and were able to replace the defect part in time,” Sébastien describes. In cooperation with the supplier, and with the help of Cloud Logging data, TSS managed to localise the problem and resolve it.

TSS has drawn up a clear multi-year plan in which IXON plays a major role. “We want to be more competitive in our market and offer cheaper systems that function optimally,” says Sébastien. “However, to be able to determine how we can develop them better we’ll need data that’s in our operating systems. We believe that’s the future, but the customer first has to be convinced that it’s the right direction too.”

Benefits the IXON Cloud offers TSS:

  • The experience of TSS’s management team and field technicians
  • How passive cooled solar can reduce both capex and opex
  • Options for tailoring a solar solution to your needs
  • How the in-house TSS charge controller keeps their system reliable
  • How the TCO of solar systems changes as power demand increases
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